Humans are born either male or female depending on their sexual organs. While there are specific biological functions connected to those organs, it is society that assigns distinct, opposite behavioral standards, mores, and roles for each gender. These are portrayed as outgrowths of biological differences and considered normal. However, gender roles are socially constructed not biologically determined. My thesis work Desired Absence: A Woman's Perspective explores the themes of gender and violence using photography and video. The body of work includes two components; a series of seven silver gelatin mural sized photographs of the human face, and a single channel video loop. The video depicts a jack 'n' the box toy juxtaposed with violent scenes from Hollywood films and Super 8 clips of a passive naked male body. The photographs show the human face and use selective focus, shaved heads, fragmentation of the face and body, large scale, and the close-up to explore gender and its relationship to intimacy, violation, violence, power, and control.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Portrait photography; Photography, Artistic; Video art; Androgyny (Psychology) in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences (CIAS)


Kelly, Angela

Advisor/Committee Member

Lent, Tina


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: TR680 .D665 2001


RIT – Main Campus